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Dog neglect

Conviction for Companion Animal Neglect in Ashland County

State v. April McCartney, a case we prosecuted for the Ashland County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from the Ashland County Humane Society.

McCartney was convicted of one count of companion animal neglect regarding 4 cats, 8 dogs and a bearded dragon lizard. Most of the dogs were tied outside in a yard heaped with garbage without access to food, water or adequate shelter. Other animals were kept in the house, which was also filled with garbage, including animal waste. There was a strong odor of urine and fecal ammonia throughout the house. The majority of the animals were very thin. Many were suffering from conjunctivitis, eye conditions, parasites and other ailments which the veterinarian said showed lack of proper care for a very prolonged period of time.

McCartney voluntarily surrendered all of the animals.

McCartney is not permitted to own, possess or live in a place with animals of any kind for 3 years, and is subject to random inspections. If she violates those terms, she faces 30 days in jail. She was only fined $100 plus court costs because she has no assets.

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Sentencing for Animal Boarder/Breeder

State v. Theopholis Hunter, a case we prosecuted that was investigated by the Cleveland Animal Protective League and City Dogs Cleveland (Cleveland Animal Care & Control).

Hunter was found guilty of two counts of animal cruelty for neglecting 19 dogs. Hunter operated a boarding/breeding operation for many years. The dogs were kept in filthy conditions and were suffering from various untreated ailments, such as severe matting, tumors/masses, and ear/eye infections. Hunter was cooperative and surrendered all 19 dogs immediately.

Hunter was ordered to have no animals for five years and remove all signage from his property related to the breeding/boarding/sale of animals. He will be subject to random inspections and faces 270 days in jail if he fails to comply. He was also ordered to pay $760 in restitution to the Cleveland APL.

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Conviction for Neglecting Dog with Skin Condition

State of Ohio v. Daniel and Dustin Dellick, a case prosecuted for Animal Charity of Ohio.

The Dellicks were charged with animal neglect related to the care of their dog, Bella. Bella suffered from a severe untreated skin condition that caused intense pain and discomfort. Bella likely had not left her position on the couch in quite some time.

The Dellicks each pled guilty to one count of animal neglect.

They are prohibited from owning, keeping, or possessing any companion animals for an indefinite period of time and were further sentenced to 5 years probation, during which time they cannot own, keep, care for, or live with any animal. The Humane Society is permitted to conduct random inspections to ensure compliance. The Dellicks must complete mental health evaluations and follow up with recommended treatment, if any. The Dellicks must also pay $2,000 in restitution to Animal Charity, a $100 fine (Daniel only), and court costs. If they fail to comply with these conditions, they face 90 days in jail each.

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Multiple-Count Conviction for Shih Tzu neglect

State v. Jon Carmen Ferrante, a case prosecuted for the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

Ferrante was charged with animal neglect related to his care of 33 Shih Tzu dogs. Many of the dogs were so severely matted that it became difficult for the dogs to walk or move without pain. The dogs were confined in unsanitary conditions and also suffered from untreated veterinary conditions such as worms, dental disease, and eye issues.

One dog, Xander, suffered a mat that acted as a tourniquet around his foot, resulting in death of the limb and a severe infection. Despite receiving emergency medical attention at the Cleveland APL, he ultimately did not survive his condition. All 32 other dogs were successfully rehabilitated by the APL and adopted into new homes.

Ferrante pled no contest to 12 counts of neglect, all first degree misdemeanors pursuant to Nitro’s Law.

Ferrante is prohibited from owning, keeping, or possessing any companion animals for an indefinite period of time and was further sentenced to 5 years probation, during which time he is not permitted to possess any animals and is subject to random inspections by the APL. He must obtain a mental health assessment, and abide by any treatment recommendations. He was fined $600 plus court costs. Failure to abide by these terms may result in 180 days in jail.

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Conviction for Animal Neglect after Choking Puppy

State v. James Wayne, a case we prosecuted on behalf of the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

Wayne was charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor of knowingly committing an act of companion animal cruelty for choking a puppy to death on February 10, 2015. Wayne has a record of at least 16 prior felonies.

The case was set for trial twice. Unfortunately, the only eye-witness failed to appear in court, and her current address is unknown. The Defendant instead pled guilty to animal neglect for failing to provide necessary veterinary care for an animal, which is also a 1st degree misdemeanor under Cleveland City Ordinances.

Wayne is now prohibited from owning or possessing companion animals indefinitely. He must complete an anger management course, submit to monitoring by the APL for 5 years, and pay a $250 fine plus court costs. Failure to abide by these terms may result in 180 days in jail.

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Sisters to complete 1000 hours of community service for starving their dog to death

State of Ohio v. Christina Davis and Delores Davis, a case prosecuted for the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

Delores and Christina Davis, sisters, were charged with one second degree misdemeanor count related to the starvation death of their dog. The dog was found deceased and emaciated in their yard. The sisters stated they relied on neighbors to provide them with free dog food. The dog’s bowls contained only filth and leaves.

Each defendant pleaded no contest to the charge. They must each complete 500 hours of community service and 5 years of active probation, during which time they cannot own animals and are subject to the APL’s monitoring. 90 days in jail were imposed, and suspended. They will pay court costs.

empty dog bowls starved dog yard

 

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Sentencing for Youngstown animal neglect case

State v. Akesha Bowman, a case we prosecuted for Animal Charity, the humane society serving Mahoning County.

Bowman was charged with two counts of companion animal cruelty for keeping her dog “Sassy,” (renamed “Hershey,”) in a cage filled with urine and fecal waste. The cage was too small. Sores were observed on the top of her head from rubbing on the bars. She was also emaciated. Bowman pled no contest and was found guilty on both counts.

The dog was forfeited by the Court, and is now doing well in her new home. (Before and after pictures provided below.)

Judge Robert Milich sentenced Bowman to 90 days in jail for each count, consecutive, for a total of 180 days. Jail time is suspended pending completion of 5 years’ probation, the maximum time allowed by law. During that time, she is prohibited from owning or keeping animals, and is subject to inspections by probation or the humane agent to make sure that she is not keeping animals. She was fined $250 plus costs, plus a $100 probation fee for each case, and must complete 80 hours of community service.

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100 days jail time for animal neglect

Update on State v. Vicki Cornell, a case we prosecuted along with Prosecutor Rhonda Fisher in the Bryan Municipal Court last year.

Cornell, who operated an organization ironically known as “Skinny Little Buddies Animal Rescue,” was convicted of 24 counts of companion animal cruelty relating to the keeping of approximately 48 dogs.

Today she was found guilty of violating her probation. Judge Francis Gorman imposed 100 days in jail, with credit for 7 days served to date. After serving this jail term, she will be back on probation, with a prohibition against keeping more than 4 personal pets, and random inspections. 500 days in jail remain hanging over her head if there are additional violations.

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Ohio House Bill 198 Reduces Humane Societies’ Power to Protect Animals

ANIMAL LEGISLATION UPDATE:
HB 198, which abolishes Ohio Humane Societies’ ability to appoint prosecutors to prosecute crimes against animals, was introduced in the Ohio House on 5/11/15. This is the first legislative effort to REDUCE a Humane Society’s ability to protect animals.

Primary Sponsors: Reps. Steve Hambley (R-69) and Greta Johnson (D-35)

Summary: To repeal section 2931.18 of the Revised Code to abolish the humane society’s authority to employ an attorney to prosecute certain violations of law dealing with animal cruelty.

Find your Legislator here: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislators/find-my-legislators

HB 198 Hurts Animals

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Jail time for dog starvation case in Ashland, Ohio

State v. Michael Johnson, a case we prosecuted at the request of the Ashland County Humane Society, investigated by Ashland County Dog Warden, Tom Kosht.

Johnson was found guilty of two counts of companion animal cruelty for abandoning two dogs in a home without adequate food or water. One died of starvation. The other was dehydrated, but was successfully rehabilitated and has been adopted to a new, loving home.

Johnson tried to put the blame on a man named Louie Thompson who he said was paid $500 cash to care for the animals. However, Johnson could not locate Thompson, and the address he gave for Thompson had not been occupied for some time. Judge John Good told Johnson that he did not believe his story.

Johnson was sentenced to 90 days, the maximum jail sentence for a 2nd degree misdemeanor. He will begin serving that sentence next week. 90 additional days were suspended pending successful completion of 5 years’ probation. During that time, Johnson may not possess and companion animals. He was ordered to pay $500 in fines, $42 in restitution to the veterinarian, $125 restitution to the Ashland County Humane Society, and court costs.

I am pleased to report that Judge Good gave a strong message about the seriousness of animal neglect. It is our hope both Dog Warden Tom Kosht and Judge John Good of the Ashland Municipal Court will receive positive feedback from the community.

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